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PhotoFlex Starlight


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#1 John Carreon

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 10:06 PM

Hey,

I just got my hands on a PhotoFlex Starlight capable of using 500W-1000W tungsten bulbs. I think they're mostly used for Still Photography but I was wondering if anyone has used them for film/video...

Should I invest in a few bulbs? The 1000W look like they run about $70 bucks...I think I'll need to get another paper route.

Thanks,

John
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 03:32 AM

Hey,

I just got my hands on a PhotoFlex Starlight capable of using 500W-1000W tungsten bulbs. I think they're mostly used for Still Photography but I was wondering if anyone has used them for film/video...

Should I invest in a few bulbs? The 1000W look like they run about $70 bucks...I think I'll need to get another paper route.

Thanks,

John


Hi,

I have used them in softboxes. The bulbs are not delicate, quite good if your on the road all the time.

Stephen
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 06:02 AM

Dynaphos make a copy of the Chimera Octolume system, which will fit these lamps. They're sold in the US by Amvona.com, who also sell via ebay.
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#4 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 11:56 PM

Hey,

I just got my hands on a PhotoFlex Starlight capable of using 500W-1000W tungsten bulbs. I think they're mostly used for Still Photography but I was wondering if anyone has used them for film/video...

Should I invest in a few bulbs? The 1000W look like they run about $70 bucks...I think I'll need to get another paper route.

Thanks,

John

I purchased a couple of these Starlites after I saw them used at a lighting seminar hosted by Foster Denker at Birns & Sawyer in Hollywood. Foster was big on them because he said they were much more efficient than shooting a fresnel or open-faced instruments through a softbox. I use them mostly for home movies and video, but there's no reason they couldn't be used on, say, Mission Impossible 4 if you get that gig.

Interestingly, when I bought the Starlite and tried to screw in a lamp, the threads of the lamp socket appeared to be damaged. It looked like there was a jagged channel cut right across the metal threads and a heavy-gauge spring wire underneath was protruding above the thread surface. I took it back to the store and went through four more units. They were identical, so I called Photoflex and their tech guy explained how UL made them do this to as a safety feature. Apparently this protruding spring wire produces a poor-man's interference-fit that keeps the lamp from backing out. Looks pretty rough, but it seems to work.

I also bought a small Photoflex softbox and their OctaBank NXT, mostly because I like the shape of the eye catchlights produced by round banks.

I can tell you I am happy with them for the most part. They're relatively inexpensive, they don't get as hot as a my Arrilights, and they do seem more efficient when used with light banks, probably because the bulb extends straight into the bank. Compared to, say a 1K fresnel, they're a little tougher to gel if you want to convert to daylight. You need one or more full sheets of CTB to clip to the front of the softbox. You can also use ND gels to act as scrims, or just keep a few different wattage bulbs on hand to change the light output. You can also use a dimmer, but this will change the color temp to some degree. I believe they make a 250-watt (uses a special thread adapter), 500 w and 1000 w. They also make several sizes of softboxes and what they call a White Dome NXT for use with this unit. The White Dome is essentially an all-white-fabric light box that's good for raising the overall ambient levels of light in small rooms.

I've attached a couple of digital still frames of the light itself and the result: a shot of my daughter on Christmas morning (big day--she got her first bike). With a 500w bulb, I got a reading of t2/2.8 split at about 8 feet with 7218 Vision 2 500 ASA film at 24fps. This was with both layers of diffusion in place inside the OctoBank. (I used an 8x8 solid to block the window light from the French door windows behind the camera.) It seems to produce a pleasant light, very soft.

Edit: I just remembered, I did use a dimmer to knock the Starlite back--maybe about 2/3 stop. The rimlight from the back/left is just a little 300w Arri fresnel with some opal diffusion

Attached Images

  • arrilight300.jpg
  • photoflex1.jpg
  • photoflex2.jpg
  • Olivia_Santa_Hat2a.jpg

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#5 John Carreon

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:34 AM

Thanks,

I appreciate the response...I've been bouncing around on the net doing some research and it looks like a really decent light to have on hand. Considering I got it for free...I am definitely satisfied.

Thanks again,

John

By the way...awesome pics on your website...I wanna go buy a motorcycle now...really cool stuff...

Edited by tornback, 20 January 2006 - 12:38 AM.

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#6 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 02:47 AM

Thanks,
By the way...awesome pics on your website...I wanna go buy a motorcycle now...really cool stuff...

Thanks, John. But to be honest, with bikes (and cars) it's all about cheating these days. Photoshop and lots of rigs! Sort of like shooting a still with a fancy wheeled tripod. Of course, after trying to wrestle a gyro-equipped Mamiya while strapped in the back of a Ford pickup, it kind of makes more sense.

Good luck with the Starlite.

Fran

Attached Images

  • ST1300_Cover.jpg
  • ST1300_rig.jpg

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